Eruch (tells story about an Old Man):
Sometime before Meher Baba began giving darshan to the public, he travelled all over India incognito, especially when he had to do his work. His personality was so attractive, so magnificent, that even when he was in a large crowd people would stop to gaze at him as he passed by, without even knowing why they were doing so. They would just be drawn by his presence—pick him out of a crowd and gaze at him.
However, because he wished to remain unrecognised he would disguise himself by covering his face with scarves or by wearing dark glasses. Also, he would dress to suit the conditions of the place where he was visiting even to wearing a turban, a felt hat or some other appropriate head gear. Suppose if he was travelling in northern India, he would wear the cap that suited the conditions or fashion of that state, so that he would not attract undue attention to himself and remain unrecognised.
When he intended travelling in search of masts Baba would tell us to prepare an itinerary for a fortnight or three weeks. We would sit down with the time tables trying to coordinate dates and train timings with the places where Baba wanted to halt and so forth. It would take us a couple of days to prepare a proper itinerary before we could start on the journey. Prior to that, Baidul—you must have read of him in The Wayfarers—would go out mast hunting to get the addresses of the different masts. Then Baba would select the places he wished to visit from the list that Baidul had prepared. Baidul was like an advanced scout.
The incident took place in 1942 during the second world war, we were travelling in a third class compartment, it was wartime, and third class—you have to experience the conditions, no amount of words can describe the experience of travelling third class in those days. It was terrible, we had to get through the windows, not just get through the windows, we had to be thrown through, or pushed through the windows.
Some people outside had to help you to get inside. If the compartment was overfull, then those inside would try to push you out through the window, while the persons outside would try to push you in. It went on like a sort of tug-a–war. It is a fact—no exaggeration at all. You couldn’t open the door because there were people sitting on the floor, any little space was all jam-packed with people either sitting or standing. You had to just throw yourself on the passengers.
All the mandali were strong, really strong people. They had to fight the crowd to get inside and get Baba inside. Many a time also, Baba has gone through the windows. First we had to fight for our seats, by elbowing here and there, somehow or other we got our seats. We asserted our right to sit on a particular spot on that long unpadded bench.
The reason we tried to assert our right on that bench was because later we could relinquish our right to our part of the bench in favour of Baba, so that Baba would have more seat. No one could criticize us for standing and giving more seat to Baba, and that is what we did. We gave Baba a comfortable seat—comfortable in the sense that he had more space. We just crowded ourselves together and some of us stood up to give him more room.
Four or five mandali at the most would travel with Baba on these trips. On this day we had been travelling like this with Baba for some time when we stopped at a big station. Baba was watching the passengers who tried to get into the compartment. There was an old man lifting up a small child, pleading with the passengers to at least take the child so that he can find some other compartment where he can just push himself in.
He was pleading in that huge crowd, amidst the great din, all to no avail. Baba had watched for some time. Then finally in desperation the man shouted at the passengers in the overcrowded train, ‘For God’s sake take the child in.’ As soon as he heard this, Baba immediately started to take an interest and he ordered the mandali through his gestures to take in the child.
I always had to be alert; Baba must not appear too conspicuous, because of his silence. If he drew attention to himself by his silence, people might recognize him or they may become suspicious of this unusual behaviour and take us to be spies, as they had done on several previous occasions. There are many stories of how we were considered to be spies and led to the police station and interrogated, because of Baba’s silence.
Well, Baba pointed out through his gestures, ‘Take in the child.’ Baba also spoke through his eyes and facial expressions—not only through his gestures. So I told Baba softly, ‘Baba it’s too dangerous, too dangerous to move from here.’
‘This old man, just have pity on the old man,’ Baba said.
We had no pity in our hearts for anybody mind you, we only had pity on ourselves, but because Baba was with us, we had to obey his wish. Well I looked at my mandali brothers, told them of Baba’s wish and whispered how it should be done. I nonchalantly went near the window and appeared to be unconcerned with what was happening outside, then I suddenly took the child inside.
There was such a din caused by the protests of the other passengers. ‘What are you doing? Have you no regard for our comfort?’ they said. In short, we received much abuse from the other passengers.
I said, ‘Look here, this child will not occupy any seat, we are going to have him on our lap, why do you worry about it?’ I told the man to go and find a seat soon, so that he can get into the compartment. I even said to Baba, ‘Baba it is very dangerous, we have the child and if the old man cannot find a seat in another compartment, what will happen to the child?’
Baba replied, ‘Don’t worry, he will find a seat.’
The train started, the old man must have found a seat in some other compartment and Baba put the child near him. Baba had been sitting comfortably with plenty of room and now he just sat normally and took the child next to him and no more space was taken up by the child. No one was displaced or made more cramped on the seat.
At the next station the old man with his long white beard again appeared at the carriage window and Baba somehow or other had a very soft corner in his loving heart for anybody with a long flowing white beard, who looked old or aged.
Baba said, ‘Again he has come.’
I said, ‘He has come to see if the child is safe.’ Baba then signalled me, tell him that he should not worry about it, he should sit in the compartment and not try to come every time the train stops, otherwise he might miss the train sometime. So I told him this and he was very thankful. He was a Mohammedan.
However, at the next station he came again and Baba said, ‘It is getting very dangerous now Eruch, it is your responsibility, if he misses boarding the train you will have to see about the child.’
I said, ‘Baba, it is still more dangerous if I take in the old man, it could be very dangerous for our whole journey, because the people will not tolerate such a thing now.’ Those were the days when no one cared for others, no compassion, no kindness, nothing of the sort. No one cared to give comfort to the old, each one thought only of himself.
Baba insisted I must take in the old man somehow or other—it was an order. So I went to the window and first spoke softly in his ear so that the others would not hear. I said, ‘Look here Hazrat, I am now attempting to take you inside the compartment, I will pull you inside, come at once, don’t hesitate. You should also try to assist me by putting your feet on the side of the carriage when I pull.’
I then attempted to pull him in suddenly. I got him half-way when the other passengers in the carriage started shouting and pushing, and then the other mandali helped me to get him in. there was such a din, no amount of pacification would help—nothing. They even started abusing us. ‘What is this? What are you all trying to do?’ ‘Are you just trying to kill us here, we are so cramped?’ ‘Have you no regard for us?’ ‘Have you no heart?’ ‘Why do you want to bring in this old man?’
I said, ‘His child is here, we must give him room, he is an old person, he is caring for his child, he might miss the train.’
‘But why the hell did you take the child in the first place?’ they asked. We pacified them as best we could and eventually things settled down again.
Now the story begins, the old man sat by Baba’s side, the child was lifted by the old man and placed on his lap so no one was displaced from their position in the compartment, but we had to hear a lot of abuse from the other passengers. Then the train started and being an express or mail train it travelled long distances between stops—fifty or sixty miles. Now Baba signalled me to start chatting with the old man.
It was our duty during our travels to talk with the passengers, we were not allowed to just sit there and keep quiet. All the time Baba would be very active even although he was so silent and seemed to be uninterested in what was going on around him. He appeared to be unconcerned about the affairs of the others, but all the time there would be the wire pulling, and we were all the time kept very active—on our toes, so to say, even while sitting down.
I always had to be very alert to Baba’s needs and wishes. ‘Ask him the addresses of masts and the like,’ Baba told me. I haven’t told you that during our journeys mast hunting, and going on mast tours, we found out some of the names of masts and their whereabouts just by speaking to the passengers during the journey.
Baba always kept us active. Even while waiting to travel by bus, and on the bus stand, he wouldn’t permit us to just stand there. We had to get information about the location of masts.
One mandali would be there just casually asking, ‘Are you of Poona?’
‘No, I am from Bombay.’
‘Oh, you are from Bombay. We are also from long distance. Do you stay in Bombay?’
‘You live or stay there?’
‘No, I live there.’
‘Oh, it’s very good, you must be living there for many years.’
‘Yes, from my childhood.’
‘Are there any good shrines there?’
‘Yes, there are good shrines.’
Sometimes the person would not know anything about this subject and we would not continue the conversation but just come back. Sometimes we found that the person was off our line as we called it.
However, if they were familiar with the subject we would try to find out more information. If they said, ‘Yes, I know about that shrine,’ we would ask if there were any good masts there. So that is how we came to know about the masts. Even while travelling by train we had to ask the co-passengers about the masts. That’s how we gathered so many names and places where the masts were found.
We felt that we had gathered the information, but behind us was He who used to inspire and control us, the one that pulled the wires. The silent wire puller was there unnoticed by anybody.
Likewise he told me, ‘Ask him.’
So I started putting the question, ‘Well, revered old gentleman,’ I said politely—we have our phrases you see.
He said, ‘Well, what do you want?’
‘Are you comfortable?’ I asked him.
He said, ‘Yes, thank you very much,’ he was grateful to me for helping him to get inside the compartment. He thought that I was the one doing all this.
‘Where are you going?’ I asked him.
‘I am going to a place called Gulbarga.’
‘It is a place of pilgrimage,’ I said.
‘Yes,’ he answered, ‘do you know it? Have you been to Gulbarga?’
‘Yes, a couple of times I have been there.’ I asked him if he lived there.
‘Yes, I live there.’
‘Is your family there?’
‘You must be paying visits to that big shrine.’
There is a very big shrine there. Gulbarga is a great place of pilgrimage. People from all over India, Mohammedans go there, even Hindus go there. It’s like Ajmer, you must have heard of Ajmer? It is of the same calibre.
‘Why are you interested in shrines?’ he asked me.
‘I am not interested in shrines,’ I said, ‘but I would just like to know if there are any masts there—men of God.’
He looked at me with his tiny eyes for a moment, then replied, ‘Oh, you are interested in masts?’
‘Yes,’ I said.
‘You don’t seem to be a Mohammedan.’
‘No, I am not a Mohammedan,’ I answered, ‘but casts don’t matter, I don’t belong to any religion like that.’
‘Oh, but you don’t look like a Hindu, and you are not a Mohammedan. How is it that you get interested in this?’
‘I just have an interest to visit these places and pay my respect to these saints and masts and the like.’
‘From where do you come?’ he asked me.
‘I come from Ahmednagar,’ I replied.
His expression completely changed. He said, ‘You come from Ahmednagar. Yet don’t you know, that the root of all these masts and saints and walis and pirs, the source of all this—the pivot of the universe—is there?’
‘Well give me some more information,’ I said.
‘Are you a Zoroastrian?’ he asked me.
‘Yes, I am a Zoroastrian by birth,’ I replied.
He looked at me, then said, ‘You are a Zoroastrian. Oh foolish young man, don’t you know that God has taken form on Earth? I am a Mohammedan, but I tell you that it has happened in your own cast—in your own religion.’
‘Who is that person?’ I asked.
‘Have you not heard the name of Meher Baba?’
‘Yes, I have heard.’
‘Aren’t you living in Ahmednagar?’
‘You have heard then. Why do you go about like this looking for saints and masts? Don’t be so foolish,’ he said. He went on exhorting me and admonishing me for my foolishness. I just kept quiet and waited until he had finished. Then I replied, ‘Yes I know that, but now that I am travelling and I have met you and you are going to Gulbarga, on my return I would like to pay my respects to any good mast there or wali or pir, what harm is there in that?’
He said, ‘What harm? But why do you go hunting like this, from place to place, there is no need for you to go there, catch hold of Meher Baba’s feet and remain there.’ He started exhorting me again, and then again he calms down.
He said, ‘What to say of my fate? I have visited Ahmednagar thrice in my lifetime just to pay my respects to Meher Baba.’ All this time, Meher Baba is sitting by his side. He said, ‘Every time I go there Meher Baba has either gone on tour to the West, or else he is in seclusion. I am a poor man, I come from a long distance to have His darshan, and I don’t get it. But you, you fool, you live there and He is in your own religion! Why can’t you go to Him there? Why do you travel around looking for saints and masts like this?’
I just kept quiet and listened quietly. I was standing by his side; there was no room for me to sit, so I just listened.
‘Is Meher Baba still in India or has He gone out – gone abroad?’ he asked.
‘No, He is in India,’ I replied.
Mind you even though Baba wanted to remain incognito he wouldn’t permit us to tell lies. We had to manipulate on the spur of the moment, but it shouldn’t be a lie. ‘He has not gone out of India, that much I know,’ I said. Then I tried to change the subject, otherwise he might pinpoint me to answer whether He is in Ahmednagar or Meherabad or wherever. I said that on my return to Ahmednagar I will make it a point to look Him up and meet Him.
Again he said, ‘I am such an old man now, I don’t know how many years I have left to live and I haven’t seen Him even once. Now I know for certain that I have not many more years to live. I will now bring my family to Baba. I will take them—my children and my wife—so that just once in my lifetime I will have had the satisfaction of having seen Him, this is the reason why I ask you whether Meher Baba is in India or has gone abroad.’
‘No, He is in India,’ I repeated.
During the time this talk was taking place, sometimes he was sympathetic towards me, sometimes he was trying to exhort me or to admonish me and so forth. Time passed until his station came and he got down with his child. I helped him to get out through the window; it was the easiest exit at the time. In the mean time there were other passengers who had opened the door and were starting to get down. It was a large, important station and a lot of people were leaving the train there.
After two or three minutes, when the old man must have left the platform, Baba suddenly told me to run and catch up to him and tell him that Meher Baba was sitting by his side.
‘Baba, it will be very difficult for me to face him and tell him that now,’ I said.
Baba insisted, ‘Go, run, run, before the train starts, just tell him and come back.’ Then he inquired if anyone had a picture of Baba. We had no picture of Baba, but I had in my bedding roll a recent copy of the Meher Baba Journal which was printed in those days. I told Baba that I had one in the journal, I got it out and Baba looked at the picture. Baba would always bow down to His picture when He blessed the picture for somebody, He either touched it to His forehead or bowed His forehead to it.
He said, ‘Run and give this picture to him and tell him that Meher Baba was by your side. Meher Baba is very happy with your love, He knows everything about you and you need not worry.’
I ran from the station into the street and saw the old man about to get into a Tonga—a horse carriage. I said, ‘Look here Hazrat, you know we had a talk in the compartment?’
He asked, ‘Why have you come?’
I said, ‘You know we were talking…’
He interrupted angrily, ‘You got down at Gulbarga, I tell you again to go to Meher Baba.’ He thought that I had got down in order to pay my respects to the shrine.
I said, ‘No, no, just hear me first, Meher Baba has sent me.’
‘What—Meher Baba has sent you—but where is Meher Baba?’
‘He was sitting by your side.’
Then you should have seen his expression and heard the abuse that he gave me. He not only abused me, but he abused my whole generation. ‘The youth of this generation are not fit to live on the Earth,’ he shouted, ‘They are treacherous, they are hypocrites.’ He went on and on in this vein.
I just gave him the picture and said, ‘Baba has blessed this picture, Baba wants you not to worry, He knows everything, He is happy with your love..’ and all that. By this time the engine was whistling so I had to run back to the station to catch the train, and the old man started running after me. As I ran back onto the platform, followed by the old man, the train was just starting to slowly move. Baba, by this time, was leaning half way out of the carriage window, just to see what was happening.
As I caught hold of the bar and swing inside the compartment of the train, I said to the old man who was just behind me, ‘Here is Baba, here, here, here,’ pointing to Baba at the window.
The old man was now running along the platform beside Baba and Baba blessed him by touching him on the head. The old man turned and angrily shouted at me, ‘Oh, you fool for not telling me.’ Again he reverently bowed to Baba while running along the platform as the train gathered speed.
This is how Meher Baba sometimes gave His darshan.
Eruch (tells the story about the air-conditioner):
In the beginning a few of the mandali used to go out with Meher Baba on mast tours. We had to bear a lot of hardships and although we were used to this hot summer heat, we did feel the heat a lot when we were in the open. We had to go out with Baba, journeying in trains under very trying conditions, burdened with a lot of luggage. Especially during the days of the war journeying in a third class train compartment was an ordeal. We were jam-packed in the compartment; there was no space between any two passengers tightly packed together. It was very difficult, but then Baba would prefer to go by third class when journeying in trains.
There were some well-to-do lovers of Baba who thought that during the hot summer they should give some comfort to Baba. At first the thought was only for Baba’s comfort, but then they started to think that they also would be more comfortable in first class because of the fans. Only recently do we find that in the Indian railway trains there are some fans in the third class compartments. Formerly there were no fans in third class compartments.
So after a lot of hesitation the mandali who could afford to pay for the tickets for Baba and those travelling with him approached Baba with a plea that he should take the mandali and travel in a first class compartment instead of the third class. When they first approached Baba for permission to travel first class Baba agreed. He was very pleased and happy with their expression of love, and they were also very happy.
However, it did not work out as expected. When Baba travelled first class, because he didn’t like wind or even a breeze blowing on him, the doors, windows, and ventilators were all shut. Also, we must not put on the fan. But at least we had the luxury of sitting comfortably and peacefully, without being abused by other co-passengers for overcrowding.
After this experience our brother mandali realized that Baba would not allow them to open the windows or use fans, so they thought of a better plan. They thought of having an air-conditioned coach for Baba while travelling by train—there is no fan but there is a cool temperature. So again they approached Baba to permit them to pay extra so that they could all travel comfortably by booking an air-conditioned compartment for him. They had to pay an extra fare for this, and naturally they had to travel first class.
Baba said, alright, very good. Baba was very pleased and happy with their expression of love, and we were all again very happy. These were summer days mind you and we were very, very happy that for the first time we were going to travel like this. We were travelling home from Madras, and at that time of the year the temperature sometimes reaches 115 or 120 degrees. We were very happy after the tiresome journey to now be returning home. So an air-conditioned compartment was reserved for Meher Baba and party.
When we entered the compartment it was heavenly—cool and fine. They two mandali who had paid for the compartment were there and we were very grateful to them, inwardly of course, we couldn’t express it to them because they didn’t like such expression. So we kept quiet about this subject, but we were grateful as we chatted away. Baba would be so close to us, and we would be very free with him—very, very free.
Now he wouldn’t permit us to sit quietly and just gaze at him, he wouldn’t like people gazing at him like that, he would like people to be buoyant, all the time saying something, doing something, making Baba laugh; and he also would make others laugh. It was a merry company around Baba. And that’s why, when in Australia, he would always catch hold of John Bruford to say something humorous. We were just having a good chat when all of a sudden, before the train started, Baba said, ‘Don’t you all feel the temperature is too low in this compartment?’ We looked at each other, we had to agree naturally. It was a very pleasant temperature; it was cool enough to be very pleasant. So we said, ‘Yes, Baba.’
Baba said, ‘Can you not regulate this?’
We said, ‘How do you want it?’
Baba replied, ‘Just raise the temperature a wee bit more, it is too cold, we might all catch cold and fall ill.’
We looked at each other—Baba’s concern would be for us—we would catch cold. Then if we caught cold we might give it to him. Anyone having a cold could not approach Baba. We had to have a mask on our face and sit in a corner. But first of all we had to inform Baba through somebody that we had a cold. Then Baba may permit that one to stay or require him to leave the room. We had to be very mindful not to catch a cold.
So he sent us out to approach the guard to see if something could be done to raise the temperature. The time was near for the train to start and we must act quickly.
We explained the problem to the guard. He said, ‘Well this is properly regulated, you can’t change it; it is according to the regulations. It should be such-and-such and you can’t change it.’ So we came back to Baba and told him. In the mean time the engine whistled, indicating that the train was about to start.
We told Baba that it can’t be regulated, but Baba was not happy about the whole thing. All of a sudden there was a delay, even although the engine had whistled. Baba said, ‘Can you not approach the guard to switch off this air-conditioner?’
You know, we knew what the result would be and we just looked at each other helplessly.
He said, ‘Hurry up, the train will start and it will be too cold for us here.’
Some of us rushed out, approached the guard and stopped him.
He said, ‘What’s the matter?’
‘We want the air-conditioner to be shut off, can you do that?’
He said, ‘Yes! That can be done.’
Baba said, ‘Hurry up, tell him to do it before the train starts.’
The guard switched off the air-conditioner as requested and the train started. You can imagine the oven that we were in. in an air-conditioned coach you can’t open the windows and there are no ventilators or fans. We were perspiring profusely and looking miserably at each other. But Baba was very happy— he was beaming. He said, ‘It’s perfect—it’s such a very good climate in here.’ He added, ‘You know, I don’t like breeze, and this is perfect.’
‘But Baba there is no question of breeze here, you are getting suffocated here—there is no question of breeze.’
‘No, no,’ said Baba, ‘this is good. This is how we should travel—it’s perfect.’
Whenever we had completed the work and were returning home and thought perhaps now that the work was finished we could have a little comfort, he always thought of some way of preventing this. Of course it was all part of our training.
When travelling by car he would like it all sealed up, and then he would look at us and we would all look sullen, then he would permit us to open the window just a wee bit so that there was a little cross ventilation, that was all. Somehow or other he didn’t like a breeze or direct sun, normally. But then when he would go out for mast hunting he would be free, just wearing a sadra, and having an umbrella sometimes—nothing more.
John Bruford (comments):
Sometimes it would be the opposite in Australia when he was driving Baba. Once he made John put down the driver’s window and John was sure it was too cold for Baba.
It was because of you. You had thought of his comfort and had put on the heater—now he was thinking of your comfort.
John Bruford (comments):
He was very mindful about the comfort of others, he wouldn’t mind saying ‘Yes’ to please others. He wouldn’t say ‘No.’ He would please all, make them feel comfortable, happy. You were perspiring at that time.
John Bruford (comments):
Yes, I had the windows wound up.
Even with us sometimes he would see long faces and he would say, ‘Alright, open the windows slightly.’ He would permit us to open them now in recent years; formerly he was very strict with us when we were young. Not that we are too old now, but we were very energetic when young, we had stamina then and now of course we are half of what we were formerly.
I remember once travelling in first class compartment in the night and even Baba remembered that night. I was alone with Baba while we were travelling… some people had arranged a coupe for Baba, a first class coupe. Only two are permitted in a first class coupe. In this one, Baba and myself. Baba was sleeping there on a berth and I was keeping watch and it was so hot. Baba didn’t like any windows opened or anything. Here in India we have wire netting over the ventilators; automatic ventilation so that if someone shuts all the doors and windows there is still some ventilation. He looked up at them and said, ‘Stop up that also.’
I was drenched with perspiration, I had changed my clothes completely, I needed fresh air desperately. I still remember that night when I went very softly to the lavatory and opened the door—opened the pot, and breathed through it for some fresh air because there is a hole at the bottom opening directly to the outside, and then I came back. But Baba was not only lying on the couch, he was covered with blankets. It’s a fact; I don’t know how he felt comfortable in such conditions. He didn’t mind sweating. Her perspired. Here even during last year… full of perspiration, the sadra would just stick on his body and become transparent.
We would have to change his bedding in winter also, and to such a degree that his pillow had a plastic cover on it, under the pillowcase. The watchman would remove the pillowcases in the night. Towels were sometimes used, and the towels would become drenched with perspiration.
Mani (reminds Eruch):
Tell them about the tea party.
Eruch tells story about a Tea Party:
Mani reminds me about a tea party on a train. It so happened that during the days of the war, the trains were always overcrowded. There were many military trains in which only the military could travel, and even on the civilian passenger trains there would be compartments reserved for the military. We had no say in the matter whatsoever, we were just the poor travellers.
Whenever Meher Baba was travelling by train we had to get him and ourselves into a compartment as best we could. One day it so happened that the civilian passenger part of the train was overfull. However there were there or four compartments that were reserved for the military. Some were full with military personnel, but there was one compartment that contained only about half a dozen military people.
In desperation I approached a man in that compartment. Here in India when we plead we place our hands together like this. I did this and said, ‘Please allow us to come inside.’ Somehow or other I must have melted his heart with my pleadings because he permitted us to enter the compartment with all our luggage. We were very happy; we thought that it was Baba’s will and Baba’s grace that had caused us to be so fortunate. Little did we realize what was in store for us.
Sometimes we had to fight with the passengers, sometimes we had to plead, sometimes we had to bow down to them, sometimes we had to give a blow, it varied with the circumstances, but we had to travel with Baba irrespective of the method used to board the train. So we got inside and made ourselves comfortable. The military people were also very helpful, apparently they took a fancy to us. We were happy to stand, but they insisted that we all be seated. They were very pleased with us and we all started chatting and so on. Baba also was very cheerful.
Then suddenly, as we arrived at the next junction, we saw that the whole platform was crowded with military personnel with their guns and luggage. As soon as the train stopped, they started pouring into the carriage and continued to pour in beyond the capacity of the compartment, in doing so they started pushing and bumping here and there.
Soon after the train started again, the military personnel who had allowed us to enter the compartment started to pick a fight with those who had entered later because they were overcrowding. At first they started abusing them, but in no time there was a free-for-all fight in the compartment. Some had hockey sticks with them, some had metal bars, and they started using them to fight each other. We gathered around Baba to protect him during the riot that broke out in this huge, long compartment. I am sure that there would have been many deaths if it had continued for long.
Suddenly there was a loud clap and I looked around to see Baba standing on a bench with his arms outstretched gesturing for them to stop. They were so surprised that they stopped fighting and looked up at this strange man in a long white robe with outstretched arms. What could he be doing? What could he want? They all stopped fighting and just gazed at Baba.
Then Baba gestured for me to tell them that it is not good to fight among themselves like this. If you continue, you will kill each other. Just stop fighting and everything will be alright. You should do your duty and fight for your country, but if you start fighting among yourselves, what will happen? You will just kill each other. So stop fighting. Stop! He implored them.
Then Baba said that when the train stopped at the next junction he would order tea for all in the compartment and provide them with something sweet to eat. Indians are very fond of sweets and my aunty had given me some tins of sweets before we left on our journey.
At the next junction Baba had us order tea for everyone in the compartment. Then Baba with his own hands distributed the sweets as Prasad to all. The fight was quickly forgotten, they enjoyed the tea and sweets and soon all were happy in conversation. The remainder of the journey continued pleasantly and the soldiers were friendly towards each other. When they later left the train they were singing together.
It was truly remarkable how Meher Baba averted a very serious and explosive situation in that compartment. Without speaking a word he had stopped the military people from fighting and his actions must surely have prevented bloodshed that day.
Eruch tells the story of the politician:
At times other than wartime, the accommodation on the trains was not always so cramped. During his travels, whenever possible Baba always liked to have a compartment to himself and his mandali so that he could freely express himself through his gestures without needing to be concerned that his silent gestures might attract the attention of other passengers. It was but natural, Baba had become man and so he had the needs of man and sometimes he needed privacy.
So whenever the opportunity arose in third-class travel, he would like to be alone with his mandali so that he could relax and be natural—take food when required or play games and all that sort of thing. One day we were lucky to have a small compartment to ourselves, and we were very happy and pleased because Baba was happy and pleased about it. The train had just started to move and we all thought that now the train was moving and we would be alone, at least for this section of the journey.
Suddenly the carriage door was flung open, a man got in and his luggage was pushed in behind him while the train was moving. He was some politician with a white khadi cap and starched shirt and all that. We were taken completely unawares. We thought that when the train had started we would be alone, but he had surprised us by getting on after the train was moving.
Baba signalled, ‘What is this?’ He was not at all pleased. He considered it to be an intrusion and because of this I pleaded with the man. I said, ‘Please sir, because we are travelling such a long distance and I see from your luggage that you are not, at the next halt which is only 10 or 15 minutes away would you mind finding a seat in another compartment? Please allow us to have this compartment to ourselves.’
He said haughtily, ‘What’s the matter? Is this reserved?’
‘No, it’s not reserved, we are just asking you if you will go to another compartment. You will be equally comfortable there, you are not travelling a long distance like we are. We would just like to spread ourselves out on this bench.’
He said, ‘No. What do you mean by asking me to vacate this compartment? Have you paid for the whole compartment?’ He was very arrogant. Baba then caught our attention and instructed us how to handle the situation. He signalled us all to observe silence—with Him and among ourselves. To speak to each other in signs using gestures freely and to laugh and make a noise—things like that. Baba was very annoyed, he signalled, ‘This will teach him a lesson.’
Gustadji was with us, he was in silence and we all knew his sign language. Usually Gustadji was restricted in the use of his signs while we were travelling so as not to create a scene. Otherwise it might become too obvious that he was not speaking and people might wonder what was going on. Now Gustadji was given full permission to express himself freely with his signs. So he started to express himself by using sings and to laugh, and I also laughed and commenced to express myself using the sings.
The politician was dismayed, he wondered what on earth was happening and he tried to start a conversation with me. He said, ‘Where are you going?’ As soon as he asked me that I just looked at him, then turned my face away and went on making the sings to the others.
Then he started asking Pendu, ‘Where are you going?’ Pendu just looked at him, then turned his face away and went on gesturing and laughing. Many times he asked us and we just turned our faces away from him while continuing to converse among ourselves in sign language.
This was all too much for the politician. At the next stop he hurriedly got out of the carriage and shouted for the porter, ‘Coolie! Coolie! Come here and pick up this luggage!’ Baba reminded us to thank him. Baba’s sign for thank you was shaking hands. When his luggage was out of the carriage I just said to him, ‘Thank you sir.’
Baba smiled and signalled to us, ‘That serves him right.’
(Mani reminds Eruch about the thief story)
Eruch tells story about a thief:
Kaka, who died recently—some of you have heard of him—he was our treasurer when we were on mast tours with Meher Baba. He was the one who carried the money to pay for our tickets and our expenses while travelling. He would open his wallet every now and then to pay our day-to-day expenses and he also carried the change. I carried our reserve of money—a wad of notes for safe keeping.
One day it so happened that we were in the interior contacting masts. We had stopped at a village in the early hours of the morning and Baba was in a room alone with a certain mast. I had a bundle of ten rupee notes in my coat pocket—a big pocket here at the top of my coat. When we travel with Baba we can’t afford to go only in a shirt or like this, we must have baggy clothes so that we can carry Baba’s things such as napkins, handkerchiefs and other personal items. Baba’s alphabet board must also slide inside our pockets. It was a big board, so it needed a big pocket. My dress was a very baggy dress—trousers and coat with many pockets here there and everywhere.
Baba was inside the room contacting a mast and we were not permitted to see what he was doing in those early days, we were just standing outside waiting. I was wearing a coat and I had a wad of ten rupee notes in the breast pocket of my coat. I soon found that the villagers were gathering around us. They started behaving very friendly with us. We couldn’t just stand there doing nothing, so we started chatting—our duty was to ask for masts in different areas.
As we were chatting together, I noticed one person with a paralysed hand. He was very friendly. He stood close beside me while he was chatting, then very stealthily he reached his hand into my pocket and pulled out a note. I didn’t see it at first, but I heard a little swishing sound, then looked around and saw a note flying past. I looked up and saw that he was the person holding it.
I caught hold of his wrist and dragged him behind the room where Baba was contacting the mast, because there was a crowd of villagers in front of it, and I was determined to give him a tight slap. I had just raised my hand to do so, when someone caught hold of my hand, I looked and saw that it was Baba holding my hand.
Baba said, ‘What are you doing?’
‘Baba, he stole my ten rupee note,’ I said.
‘Did you do that?’ he asked the man.
After the man had admitted it, Baba just pinched the lobe of his ears. ‘Never do that again,’ Baba told him. Then he told me to give back the ten-rupee note to him. He said, ‘The money is for those in need. Had he not been in need, why would he have done that? Give it to him.’
‘Don’t do it again,’ Baba exhorted him.
‘Had Baba not come at that moment, I would have given him two or three slaps for doing such a thing.’
I am now going to tell another very funny story that I told Rhoda Dubash the other day. Suddenly I have remembered it. Francis, even you may not have heard it before.
Eruch tells story about a corpse:
It so happened that these were the days of the partition between India and Pakistan and although it was a bloodless revolution, yet there was a lot of slaughter—half a million on either side of the partition. The partition was bloodless but after the partition there was much bloodshed, with Mohammedans killing Hindus and Hindus killing Mohammedans.
However, Baba let nothing prevent him from doing his work. With Baba, whether there was a world war or there was slaughter on the streets on a much smaller scale, he still continued to do his work. He would take us all from one place to another—including all the women mandali-- with all our paraphernalia.
Those were the days when people would not budge from their houses, yet he would take the whole family with him. He would even ask us to search for houses and bungalows for three, four, or even five days as if nothing was happening, as if all was completely normal. Nothing mattered, nothing stopped him from doing his work.
Those were the days when there were corpses taken by the trainloads. The corpses were picked up from beside the rail tracks, and just thrown into the train compartments and taken to the railway stations to be burned or to be buried en masse. At this time, these people had such fury in their heads—they knew of no God, they respected no saints, human life itself was not respected, yet we noticed that for some reason or other they respected the corpses. We came to know this, and we also came to know that if we could get seats in a compartment where there were corpses, we would have a comfortable journey.
We knew all these tricks of our journey, so one day we were lucky to get a very tiny compartment next to the engine. A tiny compartment containing only two bench seats—in third class as usual. We were happy, Baba was there, six or seven mandali were with him, and we were chatting and whiling away the time until we arrived at our destination. The platforms were crowded with people and every time that the train stopped at the stations or the junctions people would rush to board the train. But because our compartment was right at the end, or rather at the beginning of the train near the engine, no one dreamed of coming there at first. But when the whole train was full with passengers then they started coming towards the engine.
Baba would ask us, ‘What is the position? Is the platform very crowded? Is the crowd coming toward our end?’
‘No, they are going to the other end, Baba.’
‘Very good,’ Baba would say.
But then later, we found that they were coming toward us. We said, ‘Baba now is the time that we should roll up our bedding, otherwise they will rush in and it will be too late.’ And they would rush in, they didn’t care for anybody.
Baba calmly said, ‘Don’t worry, I will lie down and sleep like this.’ Little did we know that Baba himself would impersonate a corpse. He took a white sheet, tucked it under his feet, then as he lay down he pulled the other end up above his head, completely covering himself with the sheet. Then he lay very still beneath the sheet while we remained seated. When the other passengers came and saw what they thought was a corpse, they went away—no one entered our compartment. When the train started, Baba sat up and smiled, gesturing ‘It’s a good trick, eh?’
Did you hear that story before Francis?
One day we were very exhausted and our resting places would not be hotels or air conditioned rooms or anything of the sort in those days with Baba—but why do I say, ‘In those days’ it is the same even now—these days also. We were then, and are now, used to having just the basic necessities, without any luxury.
I still remember when we went to America, the second trip, or was it the first trip…? Holiday Lodge was reserved for Baba, the mandali and some of the Baba lovers from the West. Some exorbitant price was paid for Baba’s luxury suite but what happened was, although Baba and the mandali stayed there, we did not use anything. We all slept on the floor, nothing was used, including the luxury bed.
That bed was so spongy, so springy, we didn’t care for that sort of thing. Baba slept on the floor and I slept there on the floor also, or rather hardly slept, the mandali used to keep watch in turns. It was just the same to us, whether we were in a palace or on the station platform, we lived simply.
Eruch tells another Thief story:
One time we were on the station platform very exhausted. It was dark, Baba said that we would have to pass the night there and catch the next train early in the morning. He said we would be sleeping there, so we went to the end of the platform and spread out the bedding for Baba on the earth itself—the end of the platform is never floored, it is just filled with earth. So we just spread out our things there, and all the mandali slept around Baba. It was the custom, Baba was in the centre—on one side myself, on another side Pendu, Kaka, or Gustadji, with the others around him here and there. We would be keeping watch in turns. This night the watch keeper must have been feeling drowsy. In the mean time, we had all gone to sleep with Baba… when all of a sudden I found Baba was shaking me to wake up. I got up from that sound sleep. ‘What’s the matter? Where am I?’ I said, then I realized I was on the station platform. Baba wanted to know, ‘Who is here?’
I found that between Baba and myself there was somebody else. I looked and found there was a man sleeping next to Baba. He had got into the middle of our group and hidden under our covering. I woke him and said, ‘Who are you?’ As soon as I woke him, he got up and started running. Then the police began whistling. They were watching for a thief they had been following, but he had eluded them. The thief had taken protection near Baba, not knowing it was Baba Himself. He had hidden from the police with the help of our bedding covering him. But when he left his hiding place under our bedding, the police caught him.
These are just some of the interesting little incidents that happened while we were travelling with Baba, but whether we lived in a palace or on the station platform, it was all the same to us as long as we could be by Meher Baba’s side.
On some days Baba would permit us to take food, on some days he would tell us to observe a fast, on some days he would tell us to remain only on drinks—soft drinks, aerated water or buttermilk, something like that.
Eruch tells the story of the fixed bargain:
The day on which this story begins was the day after our fast. We got down at a station, which was a terminus, early in the morning about two o’clock. Neither Meher Baba nor the mandali had eaten for over 24 hours. Later we had to catch another train, so while we were waiting we washed our hands and faces and refreshed ourselves. We got ready to board the train which was already standing at the platform without lights. The train was due to departure at about five o’clock.
We sat there on the platform early in the morning, until it was about four-thirty, then we put our luggage in one of the compartments of the train that was standing ready to move in half an hour or so. The train lights were not on and we just sat there quietly. From the compartment Baba spotted a stall that was just being opened. He said, ‘Let’s go there and buy something to eat.’
‘It’s too early,’ I said.
‘No, that fellow has opened the stall,’ said Baba.
We looked and saw a boy was dusting the jars—you know the jars that contain sweet and pastry and such things? Someone was dusting there and as we approached we saw a man praying. He was standing in front of a supporting pillar on the station platform and there was a picture on the pillar. As we came closer we saw that it was a picture of Meher Baba and the man was praying to it. The stall was beyond the pillar. Baba didn’t pay any attention to the man praying. There was a heap of oranges in the stall and Baba said, ‘Let’s buy oranges.’
I asked the price of the oranges, then Baba started to take an interest in bargaining for them. The boy said twelve annas for twelve fruit—twelve cents for twelve fruits. Baba said, ‘No, as we are buying six it is better that you reduce the price.’ He is telling all this to me through the signs and I am negotiating with the lad. Later I will show you how Baba used the signs in silence.
So I started bargaining with the boy. I told him that he should give the oranges to us for ten cents a dozen. Somehow or other the boy agreed and we bought six oranges for five cents from him.
Well we were very happy and we returned to our compartment on the train. As we passed the man praying, I said to Baba, ‘Look, he is praying to your picture.’ Baba said, ‘Yes, alright.’ But he didn’t pay any heed to him.
Then we sat down in the compartment again and Baba gave an orange to each of us with his own hands. I took Baba’s orange went to a tap to wash it before I cut it and served it to Baba. When I returned from the tap, a man came running from the stall, it was the man we had seen praying to Baba’s picture. He was the owner of the stall. He started arguing with us. He said, ‘You are all elderly people, yet early in the morning, before I open the business, you come and swindle my boy.’ He started accusing us of robbing the boy.
I said, ‘What’s the matter with you, we have purchased it, we bargained no doubt, but your boy agreed.’
‘You had no right to bargain with the boy, he was just dusting the jars, I cannot permit you to have it that way, my prices are fixed, I never cheat, I never sell at reduced price.’
Baba tells us through the signs, ‘The price was agreed, the bargain was struck—it is the duty of the business man that once the bargain is struck, not to go back.’
I knew that he was a Baba devotee, so I had some feeling for him. I wanted for his sake that Baba should have his fruit, but it was not in his fate you see.
He started fighting with us, he said, ‘Nothing doing, my prices are all fixed. You can’t change this.’
I said, ‘But once a bargain is struck, why do you insist on this, what will one cent matter?’
‘What will one cent matter to you if you pay me more?’ He asked me.
I said, ‘We have fixed the bargain.’
He said, ‘No, you pay me one cent more.’
I said, ‘No, nothing doing.’
Baba said, ‘No. Once a bargain is fixed it is the duty of the man who deals in this to forego any loss.’ Among Indians it is customary that once a bargain is fixed for the first time in the day, the businessman has to just take it very happily to ensure that his whole day passes off happily. Baba, through me, is trying to tell him all these things. But in spite of even Baba trying to tell him these things, this fellow fought with us and took the fruit from out of our hands—took the fruit out of our mouths you might say.
Baba said, ‘It is in his fate.’
I said, ‘Should I tell him who you are?’
Baba said, ‘If you tell him, the whole stall will come here, but what will that profit him?’
It was in his fate that he would pray to a picture of Meher Baba while he was in Meher Baba’s physical presence. This much and no more.
I am sorry I am prompted to tell you stories only about trains and travel, if you feel bored we will change the topic.
Eruch tells a story about Gustadji:
If you remember the stories that I have already told you, you will notice that in them we had a lot of hardships. The other things are forgotten, but the incidents that most easily come to my mind are the things that we had to fight for—the difficult times, with the hardships—I most easily remember these times.
One day we had been travelling for a long distance and got down at a small station where a good mast was found. It was now night time and we were at this small station waiting for the next train. We had bought out tickets and were ready and waiting for the train to come. We knew that express or mail trains did not stop for more than two minutes at a station like this.
We had a lot of luggage and we knew very well that it would be impossible for us all to get inside one compartment with all the luggage, all the mandali, Meher Baba, and Gustadji who was also silent. So among ourselves we decided that Eruch and Baba would go in a first class compartment on condition that Eruch take all the luggage with him in the first class compartment. Then the mandali would somehow fight their way inside a third class compartment.
It was very difficult because in the dead on the night the first class compartments should all be locked. It was a very dangerous game we were playing, but there was no other way out. The mandali said that they would get inside the third class compartment once they knew that we were in a first class compartment.
We planned our actions well and we were ready when the train came. Luckily a first class compartment stopped right in front of us, I turned the handle and the door opened. I said, ‘Yes, it is alright.’ The others then started going to the third class compartment. We had our signals arranged, as soon as everything was alright, we would turn on the torches and signal ‘all’s well.’
I started putting luggage into the compartment with the help of the porter. In the mean time Gustadji had come to me and said, ‘Eruch, I would like to travel first class, I will help you with the luggage.’ As Gustadji was in silence, if I tried to converse with him by deciphering his finger gestures in the night, we would waste so much time that the whole operation we had so carefully planned would go astray. So I said, ‘Alright, come on now, help with the luggage.’
I started to take in some luggage, he also went in and soon a pile of luggage was there on the carriage floor. Unfortunately, the first class compartment we had chosen was a coupe. Having a lower berth, an upper berth above that, and a passageway in front of the two berths. I settled Baba in the carriage first and then put in the luggage with the help of Gustadji and the porter, I had no time to notice what was happening. But in the lower bunk I realized that there was a good soul who just kept quiet. He could have taken objection to our being there, pulled the chain and had us thrown out. But he kept quiet—I admired him.
I arranged the luggage carefully so as not to disturb him. I made Baba sit on the lower berth near his feet—all in the dark because there was no light, the light was switched off. I worked with the help of a torch. When I finished I felt very satisfied. The luggage was all properly piled up; Baba was comfortable; I covered his knees and feet; everything was alright, nothing went wrong.
All of a sudden I remembered that I should signal with the torch ‘All’s well.’ When I did this I received a reply, signalled by mandali, ‘All’s well.’ The train was now moving. All of a sudden Baba pulled my coat and gestured, ‘Gustadji has gone—where is Gustadji?’
‘Oh God,’ I said.
Baba comforted me and said, ‘Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter, at the next junction you send a wire to the station master saying our man is left there.’ Gustadji was in silence. What would he do now on his own? All that feeling of success that I had now melted into thin air. I just remained silent and waited.
What to do now? I started planning. Gustadji being an old man, observing silence, what will he do in the dead of night left there, and without money? He wouldn’t touch money. I was just thinking and planning what to do. Baba kept quiet and I kept quiet.
All of a sudden, while the train is moving fast we heard a noise. I thought that it was coming from the next compartment. I thought someone must be making that noise in the next compartment, but I kept quiet.
Baba said, ‘What is it? Ants or something?’
I said, ‘Yes, I can hear some scratching—something like that.’ But then there was no light and I didn’t like to disturb the man who was sleeping by turning it on. He had permitted us to enter the compartment with all this heap of luggage and had kept quiet about it.
Again that noise. I looked at the wall with the torch and I saw something there—part of a door. The upper berth in this carriage was vacant and I thought that I had made another mistake and locked a first class passenger in the latrine. I said, ‘Baba, the top berth is vacant, the passenger must be locked inside, I will have to remove the luggage.’
Baba said, ‘Hurry up, remove the luggage, otherwise he will complain and have us thrown out.’
I again laboured lifting the trunks and putting them aside from in front of that narrow door. When I had removed everything from in front of the door, all of a sudden, out came Gustadji through the door. After taking his first load of luggage into the compartment he must have gone to the toilet. In the mean time, in the darkness we had continued loading the luggage until it blocked the door and prevented him from coming out.
Eruch (explains the history of Guruprasad.):
This place, Guruprasad, it was built I think some fifty years ago for Mohammad and family who wanted to live in comfort, and 50 years ago Poona was not so congested, it was a very pleasant place to live in. And people did for his comfort and all that, after some years it seemed that he sold it to one Maharani of Jamkhed and from her one Maharani Shantadevi of Baroda purchased it.
This place is named Guruprasad, Prasad of the Guru, a gift from the Guru. All the furniture that you find and carpets and the place you see today, we find that she has dedicated it all for Baba's cause; it is kept for Baba's disposal.
And the funny story about how Baba came to this place first was that soon as He started His New Life, He sent word to His lovers in Poona to find a place, a suitable place not too far from the city, not too close, having a good atmosphere you see, having a garden or some such thing where He could come with his mandali to stay for some days. So one of the Baba lovers came to this place and it was just locked. Maharani has many properties and this was one of the properties she owned and she would come just once in two years or a year and stay here a week, a fortnight and then go away to her other place dependent upon the season of the year. So when the Poona lover tried to contact the caretaker of the place he said he could not open this place until he has permission from the Maharani herself, so a telegram was sent that Avatar Meher Baba wanted to occupy this place for some days with his disciples and would she permit. So immediately she sent the permission and a bungalow was kept open and then Baba came over here and stayed with His mandali.
Then it so happened that some of the visitors, guests of Maharani would come here. It was also used as the guesthouse for the relatives of the Maharani and unfortunately it so happened, call it fortunately or unfortunately, that while Baba was staying here with the disciples, some guests came and Baba saw it as sort of an intrusion. The Maharani had given this place for Baba and guests were permitted to come so Baba told me to contact the Maharani and inform her that Baba would like to stay here undisturbed. So then she of course diverted her guests to her other properties you see and Baba was permitted to stay here undisturbed.
After that Baba left you see, and when He wanted to occupy it again He made the condition with the Maharani that if she intended to give this property to Baba for His stay then it should be on condition that none of her guests come over here to disturb Baba, and she also must not come even for His darshan. She agreed very lovingly and said that, "Baba can come here any time, stay here any numbers of days or indefinitely," and she would love Baba to stay. So that’s how Baba has been coming to this place now and then, and mostly during the summer months, that is April, May, and June. He would stay here for three months and naturally, after a couple of seasons when He had visited, the Maharani was permitted to come into her own place and have Baba's darshan and just for five minutes.
She came closer and closer to Baba and came to know His ways and all that, so she had informed the caretaker that Baba should not be disturbed in the least and whenever any guests come they should be diverted to other residents and that Baba should not be disturbed. Especially when Baba was in seclusion you see, she would take great care to see that Baba was never disturbed at all. And even when she passes you see through Poona, she would not enter Guruprasad, she would stand outside the gate there for Baba's permission.
And once it so happened Baba was in seclusion, I think year before last, and Baba was here at Guruprasad and we did not know that she was standing under a tree you see there outside the premises. And no one was seen by her; no one was visible to her so that she could call anybody and just ask permission whether she can have Baba's darshan and then pass. Because Baba has told her that whenever she passes through Poona she can come and have Baba's darshan even though He be in seclusion. So, honouring that instruction, she did come but she didn't want Baba to be disturbed so she stayed on for I don’t know how many minutes or hours, but someone spotted her you see and said why she was standing outside. And she said, "I don’t wish to disturb Baba, only if Baba permits I will come, otherwise I will go on my way." Baba lovingly permitted her, and He was very concerned and much touched by her impressive obedience. She loves Baba very much; she keeps this place open for the mandali as well as for Baba.
One time, I remember she didn't have a place because her bungalow was occupied where she lives about a mile from here. It so happened that that place was occupied by children, full of her grandchildren, and Guruprasad was occupied by Baba so she didn't have any place to stay in Poona. So she got a room at the Turf club and stayed there, not encroaching on the privacy of Baba's people even though Baba had told her to come and stay in a room reserved for her, that is Rani's room you see where the telephone is. Oh she loves Baba deeply and her faith for Baba is something to be envied.
Eruch (explains the significance of darshan):
What is the significance of the multitudes of people flocking around Meher Baba for his darshan? Is it just to see a person? No, it is not that. There is something in the personality of Baba. Apart from his being man amongst men, he is also the God-Man amongst men.
It is considered to be a great privilege, a great benediction for his being in the midst of men. It is his infinite compassion—God’s infinite compassion—exercised when He wants to mingle with men as man and he comes down amongst us as the God-Man in order that we might feel His being. He makes his being more tangible to us by his presence amongst men as man. He makes his compassion more tangible to us. He makes his love more tangible to us.
The majority of people in the world—whether they accept the existence of God or not—have an inward feeling about the existence of some power; some call him God, some call him Dieu, some call him Allah and so forth in different languages, but then they have the belief that God exists.
Some look to heaven for his existence and help. Some try to find him in the temples, in the churches, pagodas, mosques and some just try to think of him inwardly. But then they would all want to have something very tangible they cannot have, unless and until through the exercise of God’s own infinite compassion, He manifests Himself as man amongst men and descends to the level of humanity and makes his compassion, his love, his being, his presence more tangible to us.
So men have regarded these manifestations from time immemorial as a dispensation of a great blessing. And when they hear about it and when they feel convinced about it and when they are drawn to his physical presence, naturally they flock around him to have a glimpse of him. That is why people take it to be a great privilege whenever in different Advents he condescends to give his presence to the multitudes.
So they throng around him in large numbers and the reflection of his darshan is seen when they throng around saints and yogis and masts. It is nothing but a reflection in the grossest sense, but the most sublime of it, is thronging around the presence of the God-Man, which we call darshan. Darshan means a glimpse of His physical presence among us.